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Topic: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

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  1. #1
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Hello Forum;

    Here is my recent rendition of Bachianas Brasileiras #5 - Heitor Villa-Lobos 1887-1959
    I used the Prima voice again for this piece, along with my trusty GPO4. I will not recount the trail of difficulties I faced to reach this point in the production, in terms of coping with the temperamental "Prima", and its lousy and ancient Editor. Nonetheless, the voice sounds closer to human than I could otherwise achieve at this moment. And I have loved this piece from first hearing, which was mesmerizing.
    Those familiar the Aria, know that for the most part, it is delivered with ohs and ahs, plus some rather loud humming. However, at the 3:47 mark in my version, right after the Cello solo, the vocalist usually sings a verse of prose, most likely in the native Brazilian Portuguese. It always sounds very emphatic, nearly violent, at that point, yet, translated, the words belie this impression; here is a sampling of the first 4 lines:

    "The Moon sweetly appears in the horizon,
    the Evening, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud
    Over the space, dreamy and beautiful
    decorating the afternoon, like a nice damsel..."

    or, if you'd prefer;

    Sobre o espaƧo, sonhadora e bela!
    Surge no infinito a lua docemente,
    EnfeTarde uma nuvem rĆ³sea lenta e transparente.
    itando a tarde, qual meiga donzela

    words by: Ruth Valadares Correa

    As a result, I just had Prima singing some "quasi" words of no meaning, but with a similar delivery, (sort of), before moving on to the rest of it. I never understood what the solist was singing anyway and it always seemed to matter little to the overall effect achieved by the music.

    So, this, in part, is what I've been up to.

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

    YouTube - SDCisco99's Channel

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Wow, SD, THAT was gorgeous! A really evocative piece ... and with that omnipresent pizzicati giving it momentum, it's at the same time both exotic and somewhat tense.
    I'm a huge fan of Brazilian music, and although they didn't have dozens of famous composers, they surely had enough with Villa-Lobos, Bonfa, and Jobim. And I think the slightly guttural, almost harsh at times accent of Portuguese elevated Brazilian music to it's always passionate and very often exotic niche. This is music deep from within the soul.

    Did you have the score for this SD? It's a staggering amount of music to sequence even with one! Also, just how long did this take to create? Nice job! And for all your headaches with Prima, it was really nicely done ... the effect was excellent I thought; indispensable actually.

    Well, I've already shoveled snow three times this evening and we probably will get close to 18" before mid-day Friday, so I thought if I don't write this now it may be awhile before I do!

    I really liked this one.

    Regards,

    Frank


  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Fabulous. I'd only heard as short part of this piece before as "functional" music (probably in a perfume ad...). The balance is spot-on, the rendering natural, and the voice sounds pretty convincing. A very pleasant surprise this Friday evening. I'll listen to it again in the still of the night, to really appreciate its atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.
    Theo

  4. #4
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Hi Frank!
    Thank you for listening and for your insightful and positive remarks! I was looking for a good score, or something for this piece, after I got the Prima, it was just about the first thing I thought of trying, even though I realized it might turn into a ton of work, which it kinda did. What I found were several versions of the piece in midi file, but all were unacceptable, changed, corny, whatever. Then, I stumbled upon one which had 4 unnamed midi tracks, and the file itself was called "villa2", (??) There was no ones named tacked onto it or otherwise. I soon figured out that the piece had been arranged for 4 cellos, with the part on track one constituting an amalgamation of the soprano part and the cello solo part. So, building on this modest setup, I transposed, copied lines, or parts of them, created additional track for the full suite of Strings and then started trying to get a good render of the singing part and mixing at the same general time. The awful part about the Vocaloid Editor, is that it does not seem to import midi tempo data, unless I am missing something. It reads everything at 120 bpm, unless you change the tempo within the Editor, after you have imported the midi file of the vocal part. So, you can run it at any tempo, but it just stays at the same tempo right through. This is important, since, when you render that in the Editor, as a wave file, and then import back into Cubase, if the piece itself DID have tempo variations, it won't fit, and I have not been able to find a workaround for this issue, so I just put up with it.
    We had near 1 ft of snow here overnight, but little wind. I know you folks are getting buried in it, must be climate change(?)! You have my sympathies - we are just getting off lite so far this winter!

    Thanks again!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  5. #5
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Hello Theo;
    Thank you for listening and your great and generous remarks!! Some pieces of music can be covered and played so infrequently on the local Classical FM stations that there can be many things that we just never bump into, in full. I first heard this music in my late teens, we used to experiment back then, if you know what I mean, and one evening, while experimenting, so to speak, I was alone and had the radio on and it was Joan Baez doing Bachianas Brasileiras #5. I had a vision of a beautiful maiden, singing, as she defied gravity and rose amongst the misty Andes!! (In retrospect, perhaps the words are not so far afield after all..) I never forgot that "experience" and knew the piece instantly every time I've heard it since. Also, a couple of years ago, I read Arthur Rubenstein's autobiography, "My Younger Years", where he talks about visiting Brazil, during wartime and meeting Villa-Lobos and how he tried to help present his music to Europe and the rest of the world.
    Thanks again for listening and commenting, I hope the music sounds as good the second time around!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  6. #6

    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    SD

    It sounds like you did indeed put a lot of work into this one.

    I now have EWQLSVC and although I have yet to use the word maker capability, I have quickly read the directions. You don't type in words for it to sing, you type in sounds you want the program to make. So it sounds as if you are doing about the same with Prima.

    Nice work on this!

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  7. #7
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Ron;
    Thank you - glad you appreciated it!!
    I look forward to more of your music - can't wait till you put the choir to work!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  8. #8
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Hi SD,
    The frst time I heard this was Summer 1965 when I was attending the U of Colo at Boulder.
    I remember a Band arrangement we did(I think) and the playing left a lasting impression.
    It was said that this was written for this singer-possibly Brazilian-who had the widest pitch range ever.
    I can hear parts of this where vastly different things are going on at the same time. Incredible.
    The only thing bothering me was the pizzacato. It sounded like 1 guitar.
    Good, hard work.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Bachianas Brasileiras #5

    Thanks Gary, I thought the Cello was just a big guitar?!?! ha! ha! - just kidding! It could be that the composer meant it that way. He wanted to create a series of 11 pieces (I think), which sought to meld native Brazilian music and of course the Spanish Guitar, with the European Lutheran Baroque of J.S. Bach, hence the name, "Bachianas Brasileiras" Clearly it made for some interesting combination's, with the counterpoint and everything.
    Thanks for listening and your comments!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

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